media mangling

Chris Brady cdbrady at
Mon Apr 29 13:09:58 MDT 2002

Caracas private TV stations broadcast appeals to join the anti-Chavez
protest every ten minutes and then showed clips of the pro-Chavez gunmen
on the bridge over and over while announcing that they were firing into
the crowd of unarmed protesters –now clearly a patently false assertion
(they were not firing indiscriminately into a mob of innocent civilians;
they were actively involved in a shootout with armed anti-Chavez gunmen
who were firing at them from their hotel hideout).

What sort of outrage was such provocative inculcation meant to inflame?
That is a rhetorical question, certainly, but let us be outspoken in our
rebuttal to the charges of hypocrites who denounce Chavez for his
supposed repression of free speech in the media.  The Caracas private
media acted.  It behaved in a manner to be expected from private media
owned by the capitalist class in extremis: for the purpose of profit
they screamed “Fire!” in the crowded theatre of Venezuelan politics;
they incited violence and riot against the democratically elected
government.  That media has thereby neutralized claims to objective,
balanced reporting. That media has proven itself to be quite simply a
propaganda tool of traitors, a private media of private interests,
against the people.

This is the media that capitalists want in Cuba, too.  If it had been
successful in Venezuela, the newly installed coup would have lionized
them as patriots.  People in the Western hemisphere need to seriously
challenge imperialist propaganda, and demand to know why such privatized
political expression is privileged over poverty.  Why does the US seem
so ready to defend freedom of political expression for bourgeois
anti-socialists yet so reticent to do anything to help the masses of
poor people?  As our landlady told me in Sunnyside, Queens, just 
before my son was born, and she kicked us out so she could sell
the building, "Please don't take this personally; it's just business."
Where do your interests lie?

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